Jump for life after ‘inoperable’ cancer

Margaret Chapman survived two rare forms of cancer despite being told they were 'inoperable'. -- NBFP PA1445-3a
Margaret Chapman survived two rare forms of cancer despite being told they were 'inoperable'. -- NBFP PA1445-3a

An East Riding of Yorkshire Councillor will jump out of a plane to raise money for charity after beating two forms or rare cancer despite being told by doctors they were ‘inoperable’.

Margaret Chapman MBE, 71, was diagnosed with cancer of the oesophagus in September 2012 after being told it was ‘inoperable’ – she then underwent months of intensive chemotherapy and radio therapy.

Margaret, who lives in Sewerby, said: “Beating cancer is 10 per cent treatment, 10 per cent luck, and 80 per cent what’s in your head.

“A lot of people who get told they have cancer just get home and think to themselves, ‘I’m going to die.’

“People have to realise that they can recover from it and can help themselves do so - My oncologist

Margaret eventually beat the cancerous growth in her oesophagus after nine months of treatment, which was arranged by her and her oncologist Dr Rachel Barton at Scarborough Hospital.

She added: “I was feeling stronger and I was improving then all of a sudden I thought I had a stroke.

“I couldn’t move or do anything - it was just awful.”

An MRI scan revealed the councillor had five malignant growths in the left side of her brain.

Margaret said: “Five is not an easy number of tumours to deal with.

“My doctors had to apply for funding from NHS England so I could have gamma ray treatment at Nova Healthcare Centre in Leeds.

“They usually only do this for one or two growths, but because I had five I was a guinea pig!”

Despite its name, gamma knife surgery does not require an operation in the traditional sense, but instead uses focused gamma rays to target certain areas in the brain to destroy tumours. 
Margaret’s surgery was a success and she became the first person ever to have five tumours removed using Gamma Knife Surgery.

Now, Margaret is looking forward to carrying out her sky-dive at Grindle, Bridlington.

She added: “I’m not actually nervous at all about it, although I would have preferred to do an abseil because I’ve done those before.”

Margaret will be raising money for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK and you can donate at by visiting http://bit.ly/1tTeTUF or going to the Lloyd’s TSB branch and asking to donate to Margaret’s Parachute Jump.